Open Call

Investment in unusual research- and innovation projects with a great potential for creating value. Project proposals may span different disciplines of science and are not limited by any specific theme.

Who?

Enterprises, research institutions or public institutions in or outside Denmark.

What?

Co-financing up to 75% of the total cost of the project. For example salaries, procurements (equipment, materials, etc.), other project-related costs (events, travel, communication, etc.), external services (eg consultancy costs or services).

How much?

Call-budget: 50 mill. DKK

Application proces
20. april 2020, kl. 12.00
Åbent for ansøgninger
18 August 2020
Application deadline
October 2020
Response to application
December 2020
Invitation to investment negotiations

NOTE: The call text is updated on May 15th

Application deadline: 18 August 2020 at 12:00 CET
Grand Solutions project duration: Typically 2-5 years
The 2020 budget is approx. DKK 50 mill.

Innovation Fund Denmark invests in ambitious and targeted strategic research and innovation projects that create new solutions, technologies and valuable new knowledge.

Innovation Fund Denmark is willing to share a significant risk with the project partners, when the level of knowledge, value creation, project efficiency and implementation of the results is correspondingly high.

Objective

IFD's objective within the “open call” is to invest in projects based on a brilliant idea with a great potential for value creation and to strengthen unusual and value-creating research and innovation projects.

With the “RESEARCH2025” inspirational catalogue, the “2020 Finance Act” and the “2020 Agreement on Allocation of the Research Reserve” as starting points, investments are made in innovation projects within all professional disciplines not limited by past or present theme specific Grand Solutions calls.

Investment Strategy

IFD invests in projects at all stages of the research and innovation value chain. Thus, IFD invests in the good project that is close to market but still needing research, development and innovation activities as well as the early strategic research project where targeted efforts and cooperation with the most competent international and/or Danish partners from relevant professional disciplines are crucial.

IFD's investments do not always take a project all the way through the innovation value chain. Therefore, it is crucial that the project partners themselves have the ability to lift the result onto the market or ensure implementation in society - or have investors who can invest in, or take over, the project after IFD’s investment period.

IFD favours innovation projects with a focus on increased private or public productivity within e.g. administrative, service and financial disciplines and encourages consideration of e.g. new, disruptive or unconventional business models that will ensure the value creation of the project.

IFD invests in value creating innovation within social science and humanities, as it is IFD’s experience that value creation often cannot be provided by technological solutions alone. Behavioural aspects, incentive models, regulation and market aspects are examples of often important aspects in successful innovation projects.

Assessment Criteria

The overall assessment criteria are:

  • Quality of research and innovation
  • Value creation during and after the project period
  • Efficiency of project execution
  • Implementation of results

In connection with applications for the Grand Solutions 2020 "open call", value creation is to be understood in broad terms as targeted innovation activities that lead to increased growth and employment through e.g. development of new products and services, creation of more and more intelligent jobs, increased productivity, fewer societal costs, reduced resource consumption or climate- and environmental impact as well as to solutions to major societal problems. The value creation of the project will be assessed in relation to the size of the investment.

The partners must account for the specific and preferably quantitative value creation of the project. Value creation should not be understood as just monetary value, but may also be e.g. increased quality of life, cleaner environment, contribution to CO2-reduction, etc. It is the applicant's responsibility to account for the different types of specific value creation.

From IFD's side, great emphasis will be on the potential of the project to create measurable value for Denmark and the Danish society. The project potential must be significant and result in new solutions or products, e.g. by development and use of new unconventional business models, methods, contribution to better  regulations, etc.

Specifically, the applications will be assessed based on the qualities of the project in terms of research and innovation in a global perspective in relation to an articulated or latent need, state-of-the-art, directly competing or closely related scientific or technological solutions, the scalability of the solution, technical, regulatory and market risks, the risk management of the project plan as well as feasibility. In addition, the development rate, the effective use of invested resources, managerial and professional skills and the subsequent effective implementation of the project results nationally and/or globally will be carefully assessed.

Finally, it is weighted that the project's beneficiaries/end-users and core stakeholders contribute to the formation of the project, participate in the project or are otherwise directly involved in the project, e.g. through investments.

In addition to the above assessment criteria, reference is made to “Guidelines for Grand Solutions” (published 12 December 2019). Allocation of funds will be made on the basis of the “2020 Finance Act” and the “2020 Agreement on Allocation of the Research Reserve”.

Selected projects are invited to interviews taking place in November 2020. Applications not invited for interviews and thereby rejected will be notified in October. Final decision on the application is notified in December 2020 with project start in Q1 2021.

Download "Open call" (PDF)

Kontakt:
 

Børge Lindberg
M: 6190 5012
E: boerge.lindberg@innofond.dk

Paola Andrea Barrientos Quiroga
M: 6190 5086
E: Paola.Barrientos.Quiroga@innofond.dk

Jakob Wedel
M: 6190 5031
E: Jakob.Wedel@innofond.dk

The program
Who can apply?
Open section, Who can apply?

Any legal entity in Denmark or abroad can be a project participant and receive funding from Innovation Fund Denmark eg.:

  • Businesses
  • Research institutions
  • Public institutions
What can I apply for investment for?
Open section, What can I apply for investment for?

You can apply for funding for projects that create societal value and/or economic value in Danish public and private companies and/or from buyers in society, for example from citizens, the state, regions and municipalities.

A buyer can be an end user of the innovation, but it can also be a public or private investor who is willing to invest in the project after the Fund's commitment is completed.

It can be an advantage if the purchaser(s) of the project's results and other core stakeholders are involved as active participant(s) in the design of and through the project.

How much money can I apply for?
Open section, How much money can I apply for?

Grand Solutions projects will range from DKK 5,000,000 - 40,000,000

What can the money finance?
Open section, What can the money finance?

The money can co-finance expenses for salaries, equipment, other project-related costs, external services, etcetera.

The budget must include all direct project costs, meaning costs that can be directly attributed to the project, regardless of whether the costs are to be covered by Innovation Fund Denmark or will be covered by the project participants themselves or another party.

For further details, please see the programme guidelines.

How long does the project have to take?
Open section, How long does the project have to take?

The projects are of 1 to 5 years duration.

Application
How do I apply?
Open section, How do I apply?

The application process for the Grand Solutions programme consists of two phases.

In phase 1, all interested applicants submit a short letter of interest, outlining their project. On this basis, applicants will either receive an invitation for phase 2 or a rejection.

In phase 2, the invited applicants submit a final application, describing their project in detail. When Innovation Fund Denmark has assessed all applications, the fund makes a decision as to which projects will be invited to enter negotiations for an investment agreement.

The application material for both phases must be created and submitted via the electronic application system: www.e-grant.dk. You must register as a user of the system with either a username and password or with NemID/MitID before you can create an application.

You create a new application by finding the correct call under "Search Options" and pressing "Start your application". Note that the list of search options is sorted alphabetically and that the names of all calls from Innovation Fund Denmark start with "IF".

You must write your application material for both phases in English.

You can find a guide to e-grant on the website of the Danish Ministry of Education and Research.

 

What must the application contain?
Open section, What must the application contain?

In both phases, the application consists of an electronic application form designed in the electronic application system e-grant (www.e-grant.dk), which you must fill out in English.

Your application must have an official title (maximum 180 characters including spaces), which briefly describes the project for which you seek investment. You must also enter an acronym.

Application for phase 1

In phase 1, the application is a letter of interest and must contain:

  • Official project title and acronym
  • Short summary of the project (maximum 600 characters)
  • Expected total budget and duration of the project
  • Requested total investment from IFD
  • Foundation and concept of idea (maximum 1,800 characters)
  • Quantifiable goals (maximum 1,200 characters)
  • State of the art and competition (maximum 2,400 characters)
  • Expected impact (maximum 1,200 characters)
  • Contribution for up to 5 core project participants (maximum 600 characters per participant)
  • Competences and experiences for up to 5 key persons in the project (maximum 600 characters per person)

In phase 1, the following appendices must be attached to the electronic form:

  • Appendix A: Budget overview (obligatory)
  • Appendix B: List of references (obligatory)

Download templates for the appendices below or from the electronic application form in e-grant.

Application for phase 2

In phase 2, the application is a full application. The content of the electronic application form for phase 2 and the corresponding appendices will be announced in the invitation to applicants who make it to the next round. You can find more information on which adjustments are allowed from phase 1 to phase 2 in the programme guidelines

You can also see a preliminary outline of the application form for phase 2 below – please note that this is only a preview of the expected application form and that the final form may be subject to change.

Documents
Q&A: Changes to Grand Solutions in 2024
Open section, Q&A: Changes to Grand Solutions in 2024

The programme text for Grand Solutions has been updated in February 2024. To learn more about the changes to Grand Solutions, visit our Q&A here.

Evaluation
How does the assessment process take place?
Open section, How does the assessment process take place?

Figur - Grand Solutions

Who evaluates the application?
Open section, Who evaluates the application?

The applications are assessed by four committees with members who convene and qualify evaluations on committee meetings. The committees have the competence to assess as well as make decisions and are thus the bodies in which applications are evaluated and decisions on investments are made.

The committees consist of 10-18 members, divided between established international researchers and impact specialist with extensive knowledge of Danish affairs.

In phase 2, the applications are also assessed by external evaluators, and evaluations that are subject to consultation are sent to the applicants as part of a consultation process.

Applicants who are not invited for phase 2 or to enter an investment agreement after phase 2 will receive a rejection stating why.

Special conditions in 2024:

In 2024, letters of interest for phase 1 of the application process will be assessed internally and by external evaluators (including a consultation process for applicants) and decided by Innovation Fund Denmark’s board of directors. The reason is that the new committees are introduced for the first time in 2024 and will not be functional until later this year. Applications for phase 2 will be evaluated by the new committees in the second half of 2024.

How is the application assessed?
Open section, How is the application assessed?

Applications for the Grand Solutions programme are evaluated based on three overall decision criteria:

  1. Quality of idea
  2. Impact
  3. Quality of execution

You can find further information on the three overall criteria and their sub-criteria in the guidelines for phase 1 and phase 2 of Grand Solutions. Please note that the sub-criteria for the two phases are not identical.

How do I get a response to my application?
Open section, How do I get a response to my application?

In phase 1, applicants will receive either a rejection as response to their letter of interest or an invitation for phase 2, in which applicants must submit a full application. The decision will be notified to you via e-grant.

In phase 2, invited applicants will receive either a rejection or an offer of investment and thus an invitation to negotiate an investment agreement. The decision will be notified to you via e-grant.

When will I receive a response to my application?
Open section, When will I receive a response to my application?

Applicants for phase 1 of Grand Solutions will receive a response in 7-8 weeks (11 weeks in 2024 however).

Applicants who make it to phase 2 can expect 9 weeks of processing time in this phase and a total timeline of 9 months from submitting their letter of interest in phase 1 and until they receive a final decision in phase 2 (however, please expect up to 10 months in 2024).

Q&A: Changes to Grand Solutions in 2024
Open section, Q&A: Changes to Grand Solutions in 2024

The programme text for Grand Solutions has been updated in February 2024. To learn more about the changes to Grand Solutions, visit our Q&A here.

From approval to project start
What happens after my application is approved?
Open section, What happens after my application is approved?

An investment from Innovation Fund Denmark is conditioned by the project parties entering into an investment agreement with the fund on the organisation of the project no later than 60 days after receiving the written invitation to investment negotiations.

The project must be started no later than 90 days after this investment agreement has been signed by all parties.

Innovation Fund Denmark may demand repayment of parts of the investment if the agreed conditions are not met. You can find more information in the investment agreement and the document containing the general terms and conditions for the programme.

When can the project start?
Open section, When can the project start?

The project can start as soon as there is an approved investment agreement and it must start no later than 90 days after the agreement has been signed by all parties.

During the project
How is the investment paid out?
Open section, How is the investment paid out?

The payment is generally made two times a year and is handled in collaboration with Innovation Fund Denmark and the financial administrator appointed by the project.

Do I have to submit accounts or report during the project?
Open section, Do I have to submit accounts or report during the project?

Innovation Fund Denmark is an active partner in all Grand Solutions projects and engages proactively with the project for its entire duration. Specifically, Innovation Fund Denmark appoints one or more investment officers to carry out this task.

The project follow-up and the requirements for accounts and reporting will be evident from the investment agreement that Innovation Fund Denmark enters into with each project.

What happens if I can't keep up with the plan?
Open section, What happens if I can't keep up with the plan?

Innovation Fund Denmark may terminate the investment ahead of time if the Fund considers that there is insufficient progress, the project proves aimless, or if the project is unable to achieve the objectives which the  Funds' investment to the project is based upon.

There will be an ongoing dialogue between the appointed Investment Officer from the Innovation Fund as well as with the steering group of the project about the progression of the plan.

What should I do when completing the project?
Open section, What should I do when completing the project?

At the project's last steering group meeting, the completed accounts are reviewed and the project's progress and results are evaluated.

Guidelines and general terms and conditions
Download guidelines and general terms and conditions
Open section, Download guidelines and general terms and conditions

Since publication in February 2024, the following clarifications have been made to the guidelines:

  • The overhead for hospitals and museums has been corrected to 3.1% and selected organisation types have been specified as Danish or non-Danish
  • It has been specified that there are no limitations on budget changes performed between core project participants
  • It has been specified that the main applicant is responsible for contact to IFD during the application process
  • Clarifications have been made to the time frame for investments covered by the de minimis regulation
Documents